Go the whole hock

A meaty, beany broth with a good chunk of bread: it’s a win­ter win­ner.

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This win­ter just won’t budge. A steady­ing broth is in or­der; a bit of gar­licky bone broth, if you will. I’m not in the least bit pa­leo – be­ing a ma­jor carb en­thu­si­ast – but some­thing has to be said about any­thing with a bit of bone in it. And a pork hock can go a very long way.

I make this sort of thing a lot over the win­ter months, some­times ad­ding a bit of sliced chilli for kick; some roughly chopped broc­col­ini or sil­ver­beet, a few ta­ble­spoons of buck­wheat. Oth­er­wise, all that’s needed is a bit of de­cent bread to mop up what’s left at the bot­tom of the bowl. Rus­tic as.

PORK, BEANS AND PARS­LEY

Prep time: 15 mins / Cook time: 1 hour Serves: 4

1 ba­con hock, ap­prox 1kg in weight

Olive oil

1 onion, peeled and finely sliced

4 cloves gar­lic, peeled and finely sliced

Sev­eral bay leaves

½ cup dry white wine

1.5 litres good chicken or veg­etable stock

2 x 400g tins of but­ter beans, drained and well washed Salt and black pep­per

Large hand­ful of flat leaf pars­ley, roughly chopped 1 lemon Pre­heat the oven to 200C. Pop the hock on a lined roasting tray and roast for about 30 min­utes. Re­move and set aside to cool.

In the mean­time, in a large flame­proof casse­role pot or saucepan over a mod­er­ate heat, add about two ta­ble­spoons of olive oil and let it warm up be­fore ad­ding the onion and gar­lic. Saute gen­tly for about 7-8 min­utes un­til soft and translucent. Add the bay leaves and the white wine and let it bub­ble up and re­duce down. Shred the meat off the cooled hock and add to the mix­ture, along with the ba­con bone, rind, stock and beans. Al­low to come up to the boil, then re­duce the heat and sim­mer for about 30 min­utes. Taste and sea­son, be­fore tak­ing off the heat and stir­ring in the pars­ley, zest from the lemon and a squeeze of juice to taste. Serve im­me­di­ately.

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